Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ace of Cakes

It's images like these that make me want to take a cake decorating class. Has anyone ever taken one? My friend Lauren, who lives in Texas, took one and said that after just a few short lessons it's quite easy to master. I know your local Michael's Craft Store offers classes. I'd probably take a class if someone did it with me!

photo via Style Me Pretty

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lucky You!

Ireland is by far one of the prettiest places I've ever visited. It makes me kind of fond for good ol' St. Patty's Day.
It also makes me wish I was throwing a party. Aren't these cupcake toppers cute! Find them at How About Orange. Better yet, throw a party and invite me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Scones across the globe

I love a good scone, and I'm not talking abou the deep fat fried American kind. I have two really great memories stemming from a really good scone.

The first is when I was in Europe about 4 years ago. It was in Bath, England in a really fancy restaurant. I wasn't even hungry, but I couldn't pass it up. So I ordered juice and scones. The English know how to do it.

The next is when I was in Canada with the husband a couple of years ago at my favorite Bed & Breakfast (that I like to talk about so much). On our last day here, before we headed back to Seattle, they served these fabulous Lemon Scones (you can see my scone on our table:). They were so good in fact, that I had them wrap me up a couple for later. I recently served them for Valentines Day just as a sweet reminder to my Husband.

Lemon Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest 1 lemon
3/4 cup cold butter
1 egg
raw sugar
3/4 cup white chocolate shavings

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and the lemon zest into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients.

Cut the butter into 1" cubes and add to the processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse peas. Crack the egg into a large glass measuring cup and beat lightly. Add the buttermilk until the liquid reaches 9 ounces.

Slowly add the liquid to the batter, pulsing after each addition. Then add white chocolate shavings. Be careful not to overmix. Only pulse until the mixture starts to come together.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough to a 1" thickness. Using a 2" cutter (heart-shapes are fun), cut the dough into desired shape and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Use two baking sheets together to prevent the bottoms of the scones from becoming too brown.

Sprinkle the top with raw sugar. Bake about 15 minutes until lightly golden.

These are really good served with creme fraiche and homemade jam.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Argh Matey!

I have two reasons behind this post. One, to let everyone know that I seriously have the cutest nephew! And two, my sister-in-law really knows how to throw a great kids birthday party.

I love the creativity that goes into planning a child's birthday party, which is why I tend to post about them. This post is a little late, but I just had to share the details of this pirate party.

Kohen, my nephew, is going through a serious pirate phrase. If you run into him and ask him what a pirate says, he'll reply, in a "scary" voice, "Argh Matey!"

The party came complete with an amazing pirate ship cake, and a ship full of little pirates.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just What I Needed

I spent the weekend with a few girlfriends at the beautiful Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah. It was such a nice, needed break from life. We ate lots of food, talked & talked, and shopped & shopped. These women are so amazing and so fun to be around. They indulged me and let me cook them breakfast. So I grabbed my favorite breakfast cookbook, of which I've shared many recipes from, Fabulous Fairholme. I honestly had a hard time deciding on what to make since everything in this book is golden.

I finally went with the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and was happy with my choice. It was so easy and something all palates could enjoy.

Serves 4-6
5 eggs spearated
zest 1 large lemon or orange
1 cup milk
1 3/4 ricotta cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
dash salt

Preheat griddle or skillet on medium heat.

Mix the egg yolks. Sift and mix the dry ingredients and combine with egg yolks, lemon or orange zest, milk and ricotta cheese.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the egg-ricotta batter. Lightly oil griddle and pour a pancake-sized amount onto girddle with a 1/2 cup measuring scoop. Cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook other side until golden.

Serve with warm homemade maple syrup.

Tip: This souffle style pancake will melt in your mouth. Flip only once and don't flatten the pancakes after flipping. This keeps it nice and light.

This needs a good, large sized lemon for the right effect. Please, please use ricotta cheese (found next to the shredded cheese section of your grocery store). Substitutes just won't do this recipe justice.